Thursday, December 9, 2010
Red Sox Controls Leverage With Blockbuster Maneuvers In Shopping Spree
The scene is outrageous in a town that charmingly adores the tasteful smell of delicious hot dogs sold at Fenway Park, one of the oldest venues in sports for which a fan intensely desires to bite into a frankfurter and then to drop the wrapper on the ground as it blows.
I don’t care that the owner of the Boston Red Sox, John Henry, is disliked greatly by a whiny town in an urban community known as New York in which the population uses the lamest excuse and believes the Red Sox purchase their talent.
It’s one thing for a prominent franchise to squander money foolishly in these fragile economic times, especially if the franchise wasn’t successful in addressing its prerequisites or assembling a deluxe makeover that benefits the team’s fortune in the future.
It is simply a matter of overhauling a premier business to elevate the show business in Boston and keep the obsessed crowd appeased after each Red Sox devotee has been a financial advantage to a loyal ownership.
Much of this is a matter of competing with its nemesis the New York Yankees in every hostile meeting come next spring, of attaining the nod in arguably one of the most competitive divisions and of investing in hope that prosperity fosters.
This time, the Red Sox were blockbuster buyers and transformed into the smartest team of the offseason, stringing together valuable pieces to assemble a multitalented team.
In hindsight, consider it a shopping spree in the most convincing offseason in franchise history that the Red Sox, a team with architect Theo Epstein and intellectual team president Larry Lucchino, earned early Christmas presents.
It makes a better story, thus the franchise failed so badly in pulling off colossal deals in the previous winters, to identify the Red Sox as the masterminds of baseball, finally escaping the lampoonery era of being ridiculed for missing out on solidifying their stagnant roster.
While the Red Sox stunningly entertained a trade with the dynamic Adrian Gonzalez, acquired in a deal from the San Diego Padres over the weekend, the undaunted Boston ownership stole the top hitter on the market Carl Crawford and gave the star outfielder a seven-year deal, $142 million deal, the 10th largest in baseball history with an annual average of $20.3 million.
The timing was absolutely perfect for the Red Sox to express interest in the availability of Crawford, and as much as it sounds eccentric signing a precarious left fielder to the richest contract for an outfielder in history, it’s just unveils that the Red Sox know the importance of snatching integral stars as a way for ballooning ticket sales and, most of all, delivering multiple championships in a town that traditionally is accustomed to otherworldly talent.
Not all towns are baseball towns, but as we know, baseball is a proverbial trait and gratifies an entire culture, as the Red Sox are seen as the fabric of a championship-starved environment.
All of which Epstein, as we teased him for one of the weirdest Halloween stunts when he walked away from the team’s office wearing an expensive gorilla suit, is now a genius for pulling off the unthinkable.
In essence, he is the face of the franchise, not a laughingstock or a silly buffoon. By the time he returned, he was adored and welcomed back in a city while taking on his toughest task and regaining power for personnel decisions.
So far, his latest maneuver is accessible in the Red Sox revamping period and could have been the ingenious suggestion for renovating Boston as a way to match the intensity of the hated Yankees.
And he is, spending wisely and collectively, although he took a vast risk and spent an estimated $300 million on two players, each whom earned a seven-year deal.
He’s not a rare species from the Planet of the Apes, but an astute general manager with the art of structuring talent, persuading players by awarding the mega millions and sacrificing his sharp legacy as Boston’s master builder.
Rarely, if ever, do the Red Sox blend together a strong core of depth in their lineup, such a plot that better yet seems like a shopping spree.
In this, there was no need to walk into a Macy’s department store or Kay Jewelers to catch a bargain on a low-priced sale and find the suitable gift for this holiday season.
For weeks, there had been much speculation that Crawford was signing with the Yankees, and then reports swirled of him potentially signing with the Los Angeles Angels. In fact, at one point, he was close to accepting a contract offer from the Angels.
Upon hearing the gossip that the Yankees were bidding for the availability of Crawford, aiming towards stealing the top players on the market, he would have clearly settled in well wearing pinstripes.
It came as a shock to fans when his presence would have helped tremendously. For once, the Yankees failed miserably in getting Crawford and allowed the enemies within the division to declare him as a local resident in a town that gives much adoration.
Even if he had signed a long-term deal with the Yankees, the Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman were ready to trade one of its other outfielders, either Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson.
There’s nothing new, however, that the Red Sox and Yankees are disdained and face much envy for intimidating the league by signing every available star. Logic is, as Major League Baseball is an unbalanced league with a deadbeat, worthless commissioner by the name of Bud Selig, that they share the highest payroll in baseball.
The slight difference is, with the profit owners pocket in order to pacify their star sluggers or perennial aces, the Yanks and Sox are separated by an estimate $64 million, a value that transcended beyond nine ballclubs’ entire budget.
But now, since the Red Sox has relieved $40 million off its payroll this season, losing Adrian Beltre, Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez and lastly Julio Lugo, Boston had cleared enough salary cap space to please Crawford, a four-time All-Star and speedy base runner with a .299 batting average and a 3.40 on-base percentage.
In that span, he averaged 13 homers and had stolen 50 bases per year, but he comes to Boston with blemishes as Gonzalez, a first baseman slugger likely to sign a seven-year extension within the $20 million range, can fortified a batting order instantly with his powerful hits.
Crawford, a member of the much-improved Red Sox, has been criticized already and has accepted a wealthy contract many believe he’s not worth, given that he has never drilled as many as 20 home runs in a season.
As it stands, this was a courageous choice, but more than anything, a sassy move by one of the finest organizations.
The state of the Red Sox is that the team is relentless and steadfast with a left-handed lineup, comprised of a hittable lineup with enough ooze to stand as the superior franchise in the American League East, owners of five projected starters who are left-handed batters, which include Crawford, Gonzalez, J.D. Drew, David Ortiz and Jacob Ellsbury.
Rationality is that the Yankees, whom ironically aren’t centralized in all the free-agency bidding, are losing greatly for a variety of mistakes. That’s a good thing, because now it’s an annex to one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
Red Sox vs. Yankees.
And as it seems, the Red Sox have the leverage.
This is projected to be the best team, coming into next season, I believe.